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3.8 out of 5 stars
Broken City
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) is a policeman who murders a killer/rapist who has escaped the criminal justice system. He gets off using a self defense plea, however the mayor (Russell Crowe) has evidence to the contrary.

We jump to seven years later. Billy, now a private detective, is living with the sister (Natalie Martinez as Natalie) of the victim of the man he killed. Natalie is an actress who is excited about her up and coming indie movie debut. Note to self: If you get naked in a film and make love to a man, tell your boyfriend before he sees it.

Meanwhile Billy is asked by the crooked mayor to investigate his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who he believes is having an affair. It is an election year and he is running against young Connecticut carpetbagger Jack Valiant (Barry Pepper). Billy takes photos of the mayor's wife and Jack's campaign manager (Kyle Chandler) together. BTW the police commissioner (Jeffrey Wright) doesn't like the mayor either.

This early twist sets things up for later twists as Billy finds himself in over his head with feuding factions while trying to cope with his newly broken relationship.

This film left me unfulfilled. Russell Crowe didn't sing, which is a plus. The characters were stiff and the dialouge stale. This is just another "me too" crime drama. Wait for the rental.

Parental Guide: F-bomb. Quick on screen sex scene, which may of had some even quicker nudity.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Seeing Mark Wahlberg promoting this film drunk on the Graham Norton show I was not surprised to find him playing another cop with a drink problem. This time he is an ex-cop who was given a way out by the mayor when he shot someone in cold blood. Seven years later and he is a private eye whom the mayor employs to find out with whom his wife is having an affair only days before the mayoral election. When the man that he uncovers turns up dead he realises that there is more going on than mere adultery and is swept up into a major conspiracy. Combining both political fighting dirty and action parts this is a competent thriller but nothing that you haven't seen before. The acting is competent and I didn't notice any gaping plot holes but equally there were no real twists as Wahlberg's character unravels the conspiracy. I did wonder why he didn't use his Olympus digital SLR on multi-frame mode when he was trying to photograph the 'lover' rather than single shot where he missed getting the number plate of his car, its not like he was going to run out of film. Sometimes directors forget that viewers live in the real world and know these things. Not a bad movie overall however.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Broken City has a great cast though all involved have done much better and the film is trying hard to be the next Chinatown or Big Sleep. Mark Wahlberg plays disgraced ex cop now a private investigator who gets hired by the mayor of New York played by Russell Crowe who wants him to follow his wife played by Catherine Zeta Jones who he thinks is having an affair. Sounds simple enough but before you can say set up, Wahlberg is indeed set up for accessory to murder. Performances are all excellent and indeed the film is worth watching just for the fine performances from leads Russell Crowe and Wahlberg to Jeffrey Wright as the police commisioner investigating both men and a good solid supporting cast too. It's a slow film and a very familiar one too which is the film's main problem. Great performances but nothing you haven't seen before elsewhere and done much better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 July 2014
very enjoyable and engaging movie to watch; characters are plausible, not action paced though has plenty of good quality scenes, car race, fight; and it's believable; not overdone...which suits the movie tone.. relationships are good throughout; though zeta jones is slightly overdressed, trying too hard on occasion to fulfil middle aged politician's wife - with little emotion or 'feel' for the characters but it works, except Russell's hair...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
must admit I was all set to give the film a score of 3 stars, however the
final third rescued it some.
the main story starts during a election campaign in which the long-term
mayor 'Nicholas Hostetler' has some catching up to do, the corrupt official
isn't to bothered how it's achieved in truth.
he hires a private eye 'Billy Taggart' who years before he had saved from
certain imprisonment on a murder charge, he offers 'Billy' 50.000 dollars
to gather evidence against his wife who he claims is having an affair,
it's a lot of money to 'Billy' right now, so he accepts the job.
however the Mayor isn't being truthful of his motives, after a killing
'Billy's' client loyalty becomes a matter of conscience, he feels he's
been played.
a superb cast-list, sadly the film struggles to hold ones attention early
on, it seems a long wait before the film becomes a whole lot more interesting,
and the plot unfolds.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
There are some solid acting performances in this contemporary noir drama about political corruption in New York. Russell Crowe is suitably menacing as Mayor Hostetler ruthlessly plotting to stay in office, and using former cop turned private investigator Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) to spy on his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who he suspects is having an affair. It is election time and everybody is on the edge since everybody has something to hide. However, despite the stunning cinematography giving the film a sense of style and quality, the screenplay has a formulaic quality resulting in a predictable narrative. The storytelling lacks the vibrancy one would associate with modern politics and perhaps if the movie had been set in the mid-20th century the film would have a greater authenticity. I am pleased to have watched it but will not be doing so again.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon 28 April 2014
This is a good solid story of politics, police, and corruption, and the twists kept us engaged to the end, although as others have mentioned the sound is not brilliant, in some parts the dialogue was hard to hear, particularly Crowe who often seems rather mumbly to me. Not bad though.
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on 25 May 2015
mheww, 'twas a long plod to the inevitable. I do like Mark Walberg, and most of his films are very good, but this one seemed to me just a long ride to the inevitable, the plot was nothing special, it was dragged out and I was left with a feeling of wasted time.
I don't normally leave reviews unless it really provokes a need to as you can see from my profile of reviews, so trust me with the mheww.
nowt special happenned, I was not kept excited/interested/involved, unless you like the inevitable I'd give it a miss.
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on 21 September 2014
A well-crafted, tigthly written drama about political corruption. Excellent ensemble acting. If you like political thrillers, this is money well-spent. The comparison with Chinatown is in my opinion misplaced. The theme of coruption pops up in many American movies and should be regarded as a genre in its own right. Broken City is another corruption movie. As such, it performs very well and offers a solution where self-destruction becomes the price to be paid for getting rid of the social evil that has infested the city.
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on 18 August 2015
Not my usual genre. I tend to keep away from this kind of cops type movie. This one had plenty of intrigue and was a little slow at the start but I liked the moodiness and contrasts of low and high life's. Overall it was good. Not too sure about yet another sex over the table scene, even though it was tastefully distanced. It was entertaining towards the end to find out exactly who did the cuckolding.
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